3 months, 3 weeks ago By Dean Olsen The State Journal-Register
“We’re concerned about it because we think it’s misleading”
Officials at Memorial Medical Center are still stinging after being rated among the worst hospitals in the state for surgery by Consumer Reports magazine, while St. John’s Hospital officials are happy with its middle-of-the-pack rating.
The poor rating for Memorial, published as part of the magazine’s “safer-surgery survival guide” in the September issue, doesn’t make sense and conflicts with Memorial’s own internal reviews and the positive ratings it has received from other health care quality groups, according to Chuck Callahan, vice president of quality and operations at Memorial Health System.
“We’re concerned about it because we think it’s misleading,” Callahan said. “We think it misinforms the public. We’re not perfect, but we score very well in the state and the nation in many of these key measures.”
St. John’s, on the other hand, wasn’t surprised with the findings of the well-read magazine, according to Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, chief physician executive at the 439-bed Catholic hospital.
“We do feel that it’s a fair rating,” Ibrahim said. “I see this is as more of a continuum. … I think we’ve taken a significant amount of steps to earn a successful score.”
The ratings of 2,463 U.S. hospitals were the latest released by the not-for-profit magazine, which has done various ratings of health care quality for the past five years as part of a push for more transparency by health care providers.
The surgical-quality ratings used publicly available data for Medicare patients on the percentage who die in the hospital or stay longer than expected.
The magazine’s ratings were based on results for 27 different kinds of surgeries. Consumer Reports also developed ratings for five often-lucrative procedures: back surgery, replacements of the hip or knee, angioplasty to remove blockages in heart arteries, and surgery to unblock carotid arteries in the neck.
The methodology of the Consumer Reports surgical ratings must be flawed, Callahan said.
He noted that officials from leading U.S. hospitals faring worse than expected in the ratings — including Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins and Cleveland’s Cleveland Clinic — also criticized the magazine.
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